Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has swept to a huge election triumph, his foreign minister says, giving his party a mandate to pursue policies that put Hindus first, are mainly business-friendly and take a hard line on national security.
Official information from India’s Election Commission demonstrated Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead in 340 of the 542 seats available, more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of parliament.
That would give it the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984.
The main opposition Congress Party was ahead in 50 seats, figures showed. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, also a senior BJP leader, said on Twitter the BJP had won a “massive victory”.
with party workers setting off firecrackers and cheering as TV channels reported the margin of victory.
“It’s a huge mandate for positive politics and the policies of Narendra Modi,” said GVL Narasimha Rao, a BJP spokesman.
“It’s a huge win for India. We are humbled by the magnificence of this victory.” Congress leaders were sombre.
“It’s obviously not in our favour at all,” said Salman Soz, a Congress spokesman.
“We need to wait for the full results but right now it doesn’t look good.” NDTV and rival channel CNN News 18 have called the election for Modi’s coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The NDA’s predicted margin of victory is much larger than surveys indicated in the run-up to the vote, when most polls showed it would be the largest alliance but would fall short of an overall majority.
Final results are due by Thursday evening.